The schools teaching men how to care.

In Colombia, there are thousands of men who are being taught to be better husbands, partners, fathers, brothers and sons. It's called the "Care School for Men", and it's been running since 2021.

Omar Jimenez is the teacher and trained psychologist who runs some of the programs. He's taught the men how to practice putting nappies on dolls, how to use toys to play with children, even how to braid the hair of a partner.

The men involved in the program range in age, though most are middle-aged adults.

"It's like a breath of fresh air to learn this. I was never taught how to do it as a boy," one of the participants told CNN

"Women weren't born with DNA of knowing how to care. It's not a genetic issue, it's a cultural issue."

So far, over 400,000 men have benefited from this course in Bogotá. 

Watch: women and violence, the hidden numbers. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

In Mexico, there are also a series of similar programs. The Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres created community training programs for teen boys, guiding them on how to develop peaceful relationships and resolve conflict without resorting to violence.


In America, perpetrators of crimes are often ordered to attend rehabilitation courses. In these classes they essentially learn not to hit a woman. 

Andrew Lisdahl is one of these men.

He and his then-wife Gretchen had been arguing about her smoking habit. When Andrew found her smoking, he grabbed her left hand and tried to remove her wedding ring, but Gretchen fought him off. He then grabbed her by the hair, dragged her into the living room, threw her on the carpet, kicked her in the chest, and pinned her to the ground. It was only when Gretchen's father approached the house that Andrew's abuse towards his partner stopped. 

He was court-ordered to "attend a class for wife-beaters", he told The Atlantic previously.

"I'm just in a better place when I'm going to group. I'm still hoping that, one day, my abuse might be totally eradicated."

After leaving the program though, Gretchen says Andrew's blowups returned. They were less frequent, only once every three months or so, and they didn't culminate in physical violence. Instead, he'd send a threatening text or leave a nasty voicemail message.

The fact programs like this have to exist in the first place - programs that teach men not to hurt the people around them and how to show a basic level of care - speaks to the state of attitudes towards women in society.

In 2022, Colombia's National Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine reported 47,771 cases of domestic violence/intimate partner violence. That's just the cases that were reported.


A national survey in Mexico found that over 33 per cent of women in the country have reported experiencing physical violence from their intimate partners.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. The vast majority of victims are women.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that one in six Australian women since the age of 15 have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. Last year alone, 75 women died by violence in Australia.

These statistics go on and on. 

Research has found a connection between patriarchal masculinities and domestic violence. As the United Nations notes, violence against women and children is "a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men".

While it's never too late to change attitudes and behaviours, it's equally important to acknowledge the mental load placed upon women. It's frustrating to say the least. Because in the meantime, where some men have to attend literal classes on how to care and be respectful to other humans, it's women who often face the heaviest of consequences associated with patriarchal masculinity.

Sometimes that cost is sadly their lives. 

Feature Image: Getty.